After nearly seven years as Foster City’s Fire Chief and more than 29 years in the fire service, Fire Chief Tom Reaves will retire on June 29. The City Council will honor Chief Reaves for his service to Foster City at its meeting on June 7.

Reaves has been at the helm of Foster City’s Fire Department since October 2003 when he was promoted to Fire Chief.  Before that he had served the Foster City Fire Department since 1998 as a Battalion Chief and then Assistant Chief.

During his tenure with Foster City, Chief Reaves lead the Fire Department in the implementation of a number of Emergency Preparedness programs, most notably the Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) – a training program that teaches residents how to respond in the event of an emergency and helps them organize into effective neighborhood teams.  Under the direction of Chief Reaves and Assistant Fire Marshal Lee Bach, the CERT program has grown to over 400 members.

Chief Reaves has also been instrumental in developing regional relationships that bring lasting benefit to Foster City.  Through his dedicated hard work, the Fire Department was the first to participate in what has become an annual County-wide “Silver Dragon” emergency exercise with the San Mateo County Health Department.  This exercise is used to develop plans for distributing life-saving medications to residents in the event of a health emergency.  He also made it possible for Seasonal Flu and H1N1 vaccines to be made available to Foster City residents beginning 2007 through 2009 at Health Department vaccination clinics held in Foster City.

Under Reaves’ guidance, the Fire Department has always provided quality service to the public, maintaining excellent response times and staying within its budget.  The Fire Department has consistently maintained a well-trained staff and high quality equipment.

City Manager Jim Hardy praised Chief Reaves for his excellent leadership, “The City and its residents have always been Tom’s highest priorities; he was always the first to help find solutions when challenges arose.  Tom’s can-do attitude will be sorely missed when he retires.”

Reaves is well known and well respected throughout the Fire Service.  He serves as the Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator for San Mateo County and as the second alternate Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator for California Emergency Management Agency (Cal-EMA) Region II.

Upon retirement, Reaves is looking forward to spending time traveling with his wife Linda, son Jason and daughter Jennifer.  He plans to continue to volunteer his services with his wife of 30 years with organizations such as the Girl Scouts of Northern California, and also use the expertise he has gained over the years to teach Incident Command System classes with his good friend Scotty Jalbert, Division Chief for Cal-Fire.